Recently I reported about Country Legend Ray Stevens and how he opened his new diner theater called CabaRay which is already in full swing here in town.The active Country legend also currently is still active on the Grand Ole Opry visiting often to perform those timeless classic comedy sketches we all were raised on like “The Mississippi Squirrel Revival’ or the ever popular “The Streak”. More recently in his comedy songs he has released many political satires like “Obama Money” and the very funny “Taylor Swift Is Stalking Me”.
Ray Stevens still represents Country Music integrity in his performing, and remains something many lack today BEING AN ENTERTAINER. Making me laugh, or cry, manipulating MY feelings to make mE feel how HE wants me to feel during the show.
However, I’ll be honest with you, many do NOT know the Ray Stevens I have delved into on occasional studies from a rabbit hole NOT ON YOUTUBE but on these square things called BOOKS. Ray Stevens had many ties with two of Country Music’s wealthiest stars, Mr. Chet Atkins and Mr. Eddy Arnold. See, most people would deem that Mr. Garth brooks was (and is ) the wealthiest Country Music artist ever…not so…not so in the slightest.
There was more money tied in with the Nashville Sound than the outlaw movement of the 1970’s by far. Commercially true that Wanted The Outlaws rose to to be the first Platinum selling Country Music Album, by far the overall sales of albums released by the Nashville Sound trumped it all overall. Many people have no idea the trails that Mr. Ray Stevens blazed for that era, and on August 21st at 11:30am the Nashville Convention & Visitors Group will induct him with his new star. Here is what he did to deserve this honor!
He arrived in town in the early 1960’s and quickly formed a partnership with Mr. Chet Adkins, and signed with Mercury Records releasing comedy material such as Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick Dissolving, Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green And Purple Pills….and Ahab The Arab. However in 1968 he went on to sign with Monument Records and THERE IS where I loved him the most.
He began releasing serious material such as the original version of ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down” and songs like “Have A Little Talk With Myself”. Also, he hosted his own comedy variety show. But it was his business side of the contributions to Country Music that made him so integral to the proliferation of the genre. Many of the artists on that label then were women, which he focused on production wise like Miss Brenda Lee and Miss Dolly Parton, before the financial influence of Porter Wagoner.
The early 1970’s ushered in his most commercially successful song to date “The Streak”, and in 1976 he joined Warner Brothers Records where he released a version of Mr. Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” performed by The Henhouse Five Plus Too” where he clucked the song like a chicken. It was in the 1980’s that the true comedy bug came out of Ray Stevens on songs like “Napoleon Bonaparte” and ‘Humpty Dumpty”.
In the 90’s and beyond Ray Stevens dominated Branson Missouri performing extravagant stage shows which captivated audiences for miles around. His video screen films were so hilarious that he began selling videos by the thousands, and captivated the market with films.
Today he spends many nights entertaining audiences at CabaRay, his dinner theater. You can pretty much see Ray Stevens anytime in town, and I firmly believe he deserves this accolade.